Games publisher EA and Temple Hill Entertainment (which has a hand in the Gears of War film adaptation) have been working to set up a film version of the horror / sci-fi game Dead Space. Now Variety has announced the director: Disturbia and Eagle Eye‘s DJ Caruso. The game had strong film overtones; you couldn’t play through without detecting obvious strains of Alien, Solaris and quite a few other influences. What direction will a film based on a game that is heavily indebted to film take? Read More »


For the last couple years, director DJ Caruso and his Disturbia and Eagle Eye star Shia LaBeouf were talking about adapting Brian K Vaughn‘s post-apocalyptic series Y: The Last Man. It was an ambitious plan, which could have led to multiple films tackling the bulk of the sixty-issue series. Then, while promoting Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, LaBeouf said he was backing away from Y because the character was too much like his Transformers character. But now, because rising stars almost never say they’ll never do a project, LaBeouf says it could still happen. Read More »

shia in y: the last man

In a day of superhero overload, Brian K Vaughn‘s Y: The Last Man is the perfect comic book series for a Hollywood big screen (or even small screen) adaptation. If you haven’t yet read the series, pick up the paperback (or the new hardcover) of the first volume, as I very highly recommend it.

Disturbia director DJ Caruso has been trying to get the project off the ground for a few years now, and Caruso’s frequent star Shia LaBeouf was interested in starring in a film adaptation. A script was in development, the first in a reported trilogy of adaptations — a potential franchise. But as time has passed, so has Shia’s interest. The Transformers star now tells Wizard Magazine that he’s not currently willing to make the film, and he may be too old for the role by the time that the project does get greenlit.

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Masi Oka, Heroes star and big World of Warcraft fan, has come up with a story called The Defenders, about gamers who have to become real-world heroes, and Dreamworks has bought it. The project will be produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and DJ Caruso is in talks to direct. (He last directed the Kurtzman/Orci produced Eagle Eye.) How do you make a multiplayer game-inspired movie that isn’t just a vague rehash of The Last Starfighter and Ender’s Game? Answer after the jump.

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D.J. Caruso To Direct Jack the Giant Killer

I’ve always been a huge fan of director D.J. Caruso, despite his recent misfire with Eagle Eye (you can hear an interview I did with him by clicking here). The man has loads of talent and has worked extensively and admirably in both the TV and film industries. His skill has won him a fruitful partnership with Steven Spielberg.  More importantly, a lot of his work centers around properties with sci-fi concepts, and we can always used more skilled people taking on that genre.

According to Variety, Caruso is now set to direct Jack the Giant Killer, and “adult look at the Jack and the Beanstalk legend.” The script was written by Lost (the indie film, not the TV show) scribe Darren Lemke, with a re-write by Mark Bomback.  The original “Jack and the Beanstalk” fairy tale centered around a boy who exchanged a cow for magical beans. After the beans grew into a gigantic beanstalk, Jack climbed it to find a huge house with a giant living inside it, which Jack then began to pilfer. The story ends with Jack killing the giant in self-defense, kind of. A variation on the story, “Jack the Giant Killer,” has Jack venturing into a land of giants and slaying them in increasingly gruesome ways. The new film sounds like it will be some combination of the two. Variety’s plot summary is as follows:

When a princess is kidnapped, a long-standing peace between men and giants becomes threatened, and a young farmer is given an opportunity to lead a dangerous expedition to the giant kingdom to rescue her.

I much prefer “adult” takes on these classic stories, as I think there’s huge potential to mine them for deeper themes and, in this case probably, action. Plus, any film that shows fairy tale icons for the true bloodthirsty killers they are gets an A in my book.

Discuss: Would you see an adult-oriented take on Jack and the Beanstalk? Which fairy tale adaptations geared towards adults have you enjoyed in the past?

/Filmcast Ep. 19 – Eagle Eye

In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Peter, Devindra, and Adam debate the interpersonal dynamics of The Office, question the wisdom of an I Am Legend prequel, and spend 40 minutes picking apart the finer plot intricacies of Eagle Eye.

Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993 . Join us next next week as we review Bill Maher’s Religulous.

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DJ Caruso Wants to Shoot Y: The Last Man in IMAX

Christopher Nolan’s use of the IMAX camera for The Dark Knight has caused filmmakers to reconsider how they will shoot the future of tentpole movies. First Jon Favreau said he would be interested in filming scenes from Iron Man 2 with IMAX cameras, and now DJ Caruso tells Collider that he has already thought about using the 70mm technology for sequences in the yet to be greenlit adaptation of Y: The Last Man. But for now, Caruso’s Eagle Eye is making history, as the first Hollywood film to be released in Digital IMAX in 15 locations.

Discuss: What upcoming films would you like to see scenes shot in IMAX? The Hobbit seems like the most obvious choice…

I’m a huge fan of Y: The Last Man, so it only makes sense that I’m very excited about the possibility of a big screen movie adaptation. DJ Caruso isn’t my first choice to direct that film, but if he can get Shia LaBeouf to star as Yorick – than I’m happy (I mean, think of how bad it could be with one of the stars from High School Musical as the lead?!). And everything DJ Caruso has said so far has convinced me that this guy has a good grip on the story… until now.

The filmmaker revealed to FirstShowing one of the big changes he made from the comic: the addition of a “ticking clock”, which makes sense. Since the film is being set up as the first in a trilogy (last I heard), you need to create a climax that satisfies the audience, but doesn’t end the adventure. But the ticking clock that Caruso came up with sounds rather stupid.

“One big change is that we put in a ‘ticking clock’ with Yorick and Ampersand, and I separated them, and Yorick starts to get a little sick when Ampersand’s not with him. I felt like we needed some kind of ticking clock so it wasn’t just a boy and his monkey.”

I have yet to finish the last couple books of the series due to my busy schedule, but I’m pretty sure that this separation sickness can’t be explained in the context of the story from the graphic novel. And the whole idea sounds very Hollywood (in a bad way) to me. Caruso claims that Y co-creator Brian K Vaughn “loved” the addition.

Caruso handed in a script to Warner Bros/New Line last week, and claims he will be tweaking it over the course of the next month. He insists that “In another month or so it should be ready.” Lets just hope that WB gives Caruso the budget he needs to bring Y to the big screen.

Discuss: In the movie, should Yorick and Ampersand get sick when they are apart from one another?

Ole Bornedal’s Just Another Love Story is what I imagine While You Were Sleeping would’ve be like if Guillermo del Toro had remade the Sandra Bullock romantic comedy as a dark dramatic thriller. Anders W. Berthelsen stars as Jonas, a forensics photographer who is involved in a traffic accident that sends a young woman into a coma, but leaves Jonas and his family unscratched. Jonas decides to visit her in the hospital, and is somehow mistaken for the Woman’s boyfriend Sebastian. Her family doesn’t allow him to explain, and somehow Jonas finds himself going along with the charade.

Julia awakens from her coma, blind and with amnesia. Jonas eventually tries to free himself of the situation, but when he attempts to explain, her father just believes he’s trying to coward out of the difficult situation. He offers Jonas money to stay around until she gets better.  But a series of deeply twisted turns sends this film into an intense thriller. I have no doubt this Danish gem will be gobbled up by Hollywood, and released as a American remake, which won’t be half as good. Catch the original if you can. 8/10

D.J. Caruso‘s Eagle Eye is based on an concept by Steven Spileberg, of man vs. technology. Which makes me wonder why Spielberg didn’t develop and direct the project himself, especially considering his trademark series of films which pits man versus sharks, dinosaurs, vehicles…etc. I have no doubt that a great movie could have been made with the core concept, but the completed film is full of plot holes and characters who only seem to be on screen to serve a quota.

I can’t really get into my problems with the film without discussing the film’s climax and the reveal of the villain, both of which are shrouded in mystery until late into the story. But truth be told, when you learn who or what is behind the other side of the cellphone, and the reasons why Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan‘s characters were “activated”, it doesn’t exactly make sense. The film entertains and thrills, but is unsatisfying overall, especially when assessed after the fact. 6.5/10

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We’ve known for a while that D.J. Caruso‘s first film in a planned Y: The Last Man trilogy was aiming for 2010, and he’s given a new update to UGO. The director of Disturbia and Eagle Eye confirms that the script by Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia, Red Eye) was turned in last week to Warner Bros., a studio that’s said to be heavily enthusiastic and committed to the big budget endeavor. Moreover, he added that while Shia LaBeouf remains attached to the main character—a young Brooklynite named Yorick Brown who becomes the last man on an Earth populated with combative, horny women—the previously rumored Alicia Keys is not a lock to play Yorick’s government-hired protector codenamed 355

“She’s definitely someone to consider.  I thought she did a really cool job in [Smokin’ Aces]… So really, the one thing, I think I’ve mentioned this to you, I’m going for, and it’s not quite there yet on the page.  I’d love to have sort of a (Robert) DeNiro/(Charles) Grodin relationship between 355 and (Yorick).  Kind of a Midnight Run relationship…I think Alicia’s a great girl and everything but I have to make sure that she can handle the acting part of it.”

Midnight Run, eh? We’re big fans of the comic series at Slashfilm, so here’s hoping Caruso goes with another actress, possibly an unknown, and not the musician/aspiring Bond Girl. One name I’ve heard tossed around a bit with fans is Vivica Fox, based, I’m guessing, on her surprisingly good, albeit brief, performance and action skills in Kill Bill. She’s a little old for the part though, even if she did deliver laughs and sex appeal on Curb Your Enthusiasm. All requisites for 355. Any casting suggestions in the comments? And Caruso informs that fans have already mentioned Kill Bill‘s Lucy Liu for the part of Dr. Mann—a brilliant hands-on Chinese/Japanese geneticist who happens to be a lesbian—but he hasn’t given any actresses much consideration. Mann would play a larger part in a proposed second film.

Caruso let it be known that Yorick’s monkey Ampersand—a seminal character in the comics—will in fact be a real monkey in the film(s). Great news. It worked in Matthew Broderick’s Project X, and it can work here (no monkey pilots).

Brian K. Vaughn‘s Y: The Last Man is going to be really tough to develop. There’s the sheer size—Caruso has implied that all or part of the subplot with Yorick’s girlfriend in Australia may be kiboshed—but also enough philosophical implications and discussions therein, not to mention pop-culture references, to stretch out a semester in college. And while the comic books are “R-rated” (violence, sexuality), this will most likely be a PG-13 summer popcorn film(s). Caruso seems to have a good communication going with Vaughn, so we’re optimistic, but he’ll need to channel some early Spielbergian wonder and some of that director’s dark period tone and visuals to see it through. We’ll avoid referencing a certain scene in Indy IV.

Discuss: Any casting suggestions for Ampersand? 355?